How to stay on track even when you don’t feel like it

You’re going along, following your plan. Your clothes fit better, and you’re feeling great. But then, inevitably, one of those days hits. Or maybe it’s a whole week. And suddenly, you find yourself thinking…

“I’ve been good, I deserve a break.”

“Today, I’m just not feeling it.”

“I’ll get back on track… eventually.”

Sound familiar?

It’s the unpredictability of life we all face. But here’s the thing: to achieve and maintain your goals, consistency is key. It’s about staying committed through those tough days and weeks. Because…

stay on track
Photo by Rachel Claire

What gets you there, keeps you there.

That’s why my first four steps are crucial for staying on track. They establish and then build upon a foundation that’s sustainable for the long haul—your entire life.

If that notion feels daunting, take a moment. Reflect on how every action or inaction, no matter how small, shapes your future. It’s a perspective we often overlook, but one worth embracing. Not in a critical, I-just-ate-a-cookie-and-I’m-a-fat-pig kind of way” but rather in with mindful consideration of what truly matters to you.

This isn’t about becoming hyper-vigilant, obsessive, or perfectionistic. It’s about being deliberate. Otherwise, it’s too easy to slip back into autopilot mode, where progress stalls.

We’re wired to conserve energy, to choose the path of least resistance—a survival strategy ingrained in us for millennia. However, in today’s world, we must recognize that the easy path often leads to greater difficulties down the road.

Really!

A client once shared an adage with me: “You can choose what’s easy now, and life will be hard, or you can choose what’s hard now, and life will be easy.”

Consider the consequences of taking the easy route. Like overspending without a budget or having that extra drink when you’ve already reached your limit. What’s easy in the moment often translates to hardship later on, whether it’s a financial shortfall or struggling with weight years down the line.

The fifth step in my 5-step process—consistent execution—depends on maintaining the other steps. It means regularly identifying and reshaping sabotaging thoughts, keeping your “why” at the forefront, and continuously refining your approach based on what works.

Execution entails crafting a lifestyle that aligns with your goals and keeps you there. Surround yourself with foods you enjoy and activities you love. Make it effortless to stay on track. Keep a watchful eye on your thoughts, recognizing when your mind starts feeding you lies about it being too difficult or your inevitable failure.

And don’t wait for it to feel easier. One day, you’ll realize that it already does.

Does an Apple Watch help you lose weight?

What do devices, like Apple Watch and FitBit actually do? Will they give you motivation to lose weight? Will they help you keep it off?

Let’s start with what they can track. The list is pretty impressive:

  • Activity (calories burned, steps taken)
  • Heart rate (intensity of exercise, resting heart rate, HRV)
  • Sleep (deep, REM, light, wake time, blood oxygen levels)
  • Personal metrics (resting metabolic rate, skin temperature, blood glucose levels, levels of strain and recovery)

But how does all of this affect your results? And how can you use it for motivation to lose weight?

Wearables are helpful for setting up your plan. Tracking your progress. Making decisions about when to change your plan. Let you know when you can push harder. Or when you need to pull back.

Sounds great. What’s the drawback?

They don’t make you follow through. And depending on how you interpret the data, can demotivate you and set the stage for a backslide.

You might selectively track data that doesn’t challenge you or move you forward. The numbers can become meaningless. Or a constant reminder that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do.  

So what’s the difference between your Apple Watch or Fitbit helping you with the motivation to lose weight versus feeling like a nagging mother-in-law who thinks you’ll never be good enough for her baby?

The difference is your mindset. Why you decide to wear it. How you choose to think about the numbers. Intentionally viewing the data to motivate you. To provide the feedback you need to keep going. 

Another important note: The calorie burning info from wearables is inaccurate and incomplete. Even so, they provide a consistent measurement to use as a barometer for improvement. But don’t expect to measure calories in and calories out with any degree of success – I actually recommend NOT counting calories.

motivation to lose weight
Photo by Blocks Fletcher on Unsplash

Which wearable you use is less important than using it the right way. As data to inform your future decisions. Not to lament what you didn’t do.

Set yourself up for success. When you create your plan, use your wearable to get a baseline (i.e., look at what you want to track and then measure where you are right now). Don’t make the mistake of jumping right into setting goals and tracking info without a true look at your current habits. That can lead to your desire outstripping your capacity.

Then set your goal and track the info. If you use the data correctly, it can help you follow through consistently. That’s how your wearable becomes motivation to lose weight.

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